What Is It?
If you’re an ordinary human being who enjoys watching movies, chances are you’ve definitely gone onto the World Wide Web and watched one online. And the odds that you’ve probably used this particular site are relatively high as well. Enter Movietube. What is it? It’s an online streaming movie service that has approximately 29 websites under its domain name. As the name itself suggests, it’s a website where you can find a large collection of movies, both old and new. Therefore, you would also find newer releases such as Zootopia, London has fallen, or even the highly anticipated Batman Vs Superman. However, these movies would almost definitely have terrible prints owing to the very fact they there are new releases!
Is It Legal?
So let’s address the one question that’s always lingering in the corner of our minds, but we choose to leave it there anyway. Is it legal? And the answer is no, sadly it isn’t; which shouldn’t come as a major shock anyway. Movietube was in fact recently sued by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), who happens to represent a majority of the large production powerhouses in Hollywood such as Universal Studios, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Disney, Warner Brothers and Columbia Pictures. The lawsuit claimed that the online movie piracy website was culpable for infringement of property that is completely owned by the aforementioned studios. In addition, Movietube promotes the films that are put up on its websites as well, by creating promotional content on social media sites and providing additional information about the plot as well as the cast of the films.
What’s The Sentence?
The administrators of the website had something to say as well. According to the Movietube Facebook page, they did not deny infringing on copyright sensitive material by stating that, and I quote, “Luckily we are not a US company so we do not need to respect US laws”. The case was ultimately brought to New York District Court by the MPAA and a verdict was given. The MPAA would be awarded $10.5 million in damages and all related Movietube domains would be handed over to the association. Several Movietube websites were then disabled and the domain name made available for re-registry.
However, because the owners of the website so cleverly masked their IP addresses over the internet, the actual identities of the people running the website were never revealed. MPAA was therefore rightfully awarded a large sum of money, but did not receive any of it as the administrators never made it to court to attend the hearing.
Are We Too Late?
Strangely enough, there are still Movietube websites on the internet! Websites such as MovieTubeNow.ws and MovieTubeNow.com opened up not long after the previous sites were taken down. While it cannot be determined if these were created by the same individuals who ran the previous sites, an unverified twitter account claimed that there were so. Also, the removal of these websites weren’t without public dismay. Several people flocked to social media to express their disappointment over not being able to watch films on them anymore.
The App As Well
Apple Inc recently made some strange moves of its own. The billion dollar company approved of a Movietube app on the Apple store that allowed users to view a collection of over 10,000 movies. From newer titles like Anchorman 2, to straight to DVD releases from the 80s and 90s, it definitely does pack a punch when it comes to offering movies. The films were all in high quality (720p) and could be streamed uninterrupted without the hassle of any advertisements. The public naturally loved the app with very few questioning the morality of its use. However, those unscrupulous of you reaching for your Iphones to look the app up, don’t. Sometime after its release, Apple must have realized the existence of such an app and soon removed it.
Movie piracy is still a very grey business. Most people argue that because they pay for their internet services, they are entitled to view such content on the internet if available. And almost everyone online does so. As long as such sites exist, there will definitely be an audience looking to visit them. And it certainly gives the big movie studios a headache when they have to deal with such situations!